Monthly Archives: August 2006

emusic finally launches beta-ly in the UK!

Move over itunes, and goodbye to all that pointless DRM. Cos eMusic
have now launched a UK variant which finally means they can sell me a load of albums I was unable to get before due to licensing restrictions.

Not sure how official this all is, but there is a logo: emusic uk beta.

So now my 90 tracks per month (which last time I worked it out cost me less than 50p a track easily) can be used to get all manner of less random indie. I can get almost all of ninja tune now, for example. Sadly no Warp yet, and that’s unlikely for a while given the (wonders) of bleep.

Strangely there’s no big announcement anywhere so I’m not sure if they’re just showing this to existing subscribers but it will doubtlessly roll out in time. The downside is that they do have a little note at the bottom of the site saying “all prices include 17.5% VAT”, so I guess I’ll be paying tax on my music again shortly, but maybe I wanted to do that all along. Though the idea of a VAT exemption or reduction for digital media on environmental grounds is bouncing around my head right now.

EDIT – mere seconds later emusic sent me an e-mail:

Welcome to eMusic UK!
The number one site for independent music.

Get ready to start downloading some amazing new music. The eMusic team has been working with top independent labels throughout the UK and Europe to bring you the best independent music selection available anywhere, much of which will be available only to our UK subscribers.

As always, eMusic brings all of this to you at a price that can’t be beat. As a charter eMusic UK subscriber you’ll continue to get the same low price you received when you joined our US-based service, which is a significant savings over the standard UK membership price. The only difference you’ll notice is the inclusion of VAT, which we’re required to collect now that we’ve launched our service locally in the UK. Because we value your membership, eMusic will continue to honor this special pricing as long as you keep your subscription active and in good standing.

So it’s 17.5% more but only because it has to be and I get a lot of great UK (and EU) label indie and mainstream stuff. How will apple compete, besides their slick marketing and overpriced downloads?